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Carboxymethylcellulose Mediates the Transport of Carbon NanotubeMagnetite Nanohybrid Aggregates in Water-Saturated Porous Media

Wang, Dengjun, Park, Chang Min, Masud, Arvid, Aich, Nirupam, Su, Chunming
Environmental Science & Technology 2017 v.51 no.21 pp. 12405-12415
aquifers, carbon, carboxymethylcellulose, environmental science, filtration, groundwater, hydrodynamics, magnetism, nanohybrids, polluted soils, porous media, viscosity
Carbonmetal oxide nanohybrids (NHs) are increasingly recognized as the next-generation, promising group of nanomaterials for solving emerging environmental issues and challenges. This research, for the first time, systematically explored the transport and retention of carbon nanotubemagnetite (CNT–Fe₃O₄) NH aggregates in water-saturated porous media under environmentally relevant conditions. A macromolecule modifier, carboxymethylcellulose (CMC), was employed to stabilize the NHs. Our results show that transport of the magnetic CNT–Fe₃O₄ NHs was lower than that of nonmagnetic CNT due to larger hydrodynamic sizes of NHs (induced by magnetic attraction) and size-dependent retention in porous media. Classical Derjaguin–Landau–Verwey–Overbeek (DLVO) theory can explain the mobility of NHs under varying experimental conditions. However, in contrast with colloid filtration theory, a novel transport featurean initial lower and a following sharphigher peaks occurred frequently in the NHs’ breakthrough curves. The magnitude and location of both transport peaks varied with different experimental conditions, due to the interplay between variability of fluid viscosity and size-selective retention of the NHs. Promisingly, the estimated maximum transport distance of NHs ranged between ∼0.38 and 46 m, supporting the feasibility of employing the magnetically recyclable CNT–Fe₃O₄ NHs for in situ nanoremediation of contaminated soil, aquifer, and groundwater.